At least 17 Nigerian soldiers were killed in a new Boko Haram attack on a military base in the north-east of the country, the third in a month, sources told AFP on Thursday.
Heavily armed fighters arrived on trucks late Wednesday in the village of Garunda, Borno State, where they looted the military base.
According to the same source, the jihadist group took away weapons and vehicles before fleeing. The source said unfortunately, 17 soldiers were killed, 14 others were injured and an unspecified number are still missing.
There was an attack on the defense forces in Garanda and the local government area from Mobbar and one of my staff who is responsible for the evacuation has lost his life.
“There was an attack on the defense forces in Garanda and the local government area from Mobbar and one of my staff who is responsible for the evacuation has lost his life ’‘, said Bishir Garga, North-east Coordinator at the National Emergency Management Agency.
Boko Haram has carried out two other major attacks against military bases in less than a month, a sign that the jihadist group still poses a threat in the region, despite repeated claim of its elimination by the government.
On 26 July, insurgents invaded a military base near the village of Jakana, about 30 km from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, which they had taken control for several hours before being repulsed by the arrival of military reinforcements.
On July 14, dozens of soldiers were killed and others wounded in the village of Jilli, neighboring Yobe, in an attack attributed to the faction of Abu Musab Al-Barnaoui, affiliated with the Islamic State group.
The attacked base had been put up for the soldiers of Jilli who had fled the mid-July attack by soldiers loyal to Barnaoui.
“Jilli’s troops had been relocated to Garunda where a new base had been established,” said a second military source, who confirmed the officer’s assessment.
The source added that “the soldiers were just settling down and the bulldozer operator was working to protect the base of the terrorists (digging) trenches when the attack occurred”.
According to AFP, military officials were not immediately available for comment.